Thursday, June 28, 2007
Hey everyone, just stopping by to let you know that I'll be out of town for four days so no new reviews till next week(I know, you're wounded). But hey, if it's any consolation, check out Tilly and the Difference Makers, my webcomic, which will still be updating with new comics while I'm away. It's got everything you could ask for, except hardcore porn. Can't do that. Anyway, see you next week!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Thick Pie, written by Christopher Fitch, drawn by Ryan Borella, and read by people I don't know the names of, is a comic detailing the struggle between good and evil, right and wrong, Coke and Pepsi.....okay, scratch that. Thick Pie revolves around the oddball and downright sleazy fanboy humor of characters named Spoon and Fitch, two seemingly heterosexual Kevin Smith worshippers who spend their days waxing nostalgic about toys, games, movies, and "woman brown". Updates are, well, who knows? I couldn't find it on the site. I can tell you so far there are 12 comics in the archives.
On the visual side of things, I found the artistic stylings of Ryan Borella to be pleasing to the eye with the wacky facial expressions and overall character designs being distinctive yet slightly familiar without being a carbon copy of any other comic. A problem for me is that it's almost entirely devoid of backgrounds, with the exception of a couple of updates. However, most humor comics I have reviewed tend to be background lite, choosing to rely on the joke more than the art. It's not totally a distraction, but the more detail the better, in my opinion. Another small complaint is something I see a lot of, and something even I was doing for a long time. It's the "friends joking from the waist up" look of the comic. While it does work, as a reader I would like to see the characters moving around sometimes, maybe walking down the street, sitting at a table or on a couch, scuba diving, or even riding bikes. I dunno. ANYTHING other than just standing immobile while spouting off one-liners about "swimming in a sea of salty lady steak".
On the written side, Chris Fitch knows what he likes, and isn't shy about emulating it. His writing reminds me excessively of Clerks, Chasing Amy, basically any Kevin Smith movie(with one huge crappy exception: Jersey Girl. blech.)that involves talk of gay sex, poop jokes, and weed smoking. If I haven't mentioned it before it's obviously for mature readers. Wait, I meant immature adults, because the jokes aren't mature, just loaded with expletives. I don't mean to sound like I don't like the comic, because I do, just a lot of the humor is a little too gross for me. There are only so many "Woody Widebody" and gay jokes I can take. Perhaps a little more variety in the material would be beneficial. On a positive note, there is some funny stuff here. The Hermione one was pretty darn funny, in a perv sorta way. Man, these dudes have a skewed sense of humor.
The website right now is really bare bones, as in no archive, no about the creators, no donate button...oh, wait. There is a donate button. *Sigh*. There is a store however, with ten tshirt designs for your perusal. Buy a shirt and let everyone know that you rode their mom!
In closing, Thick Pie has jokes aplenty to throw at your face, and a good percentage of them are funny, and really funny if you're into college sex humor movies such as Van Wilder or Mallrats, or even Accepted. Well, maybe not Accepted. That was just a stinkbomb. It's not for everyone, especially not for younger readers, but if you can handle rated R humor than you could do worse than a big meaty slice of Thick Pie.
I give this comic...
Sunday, June 17, 2007
I really liked the first Matrix film. It was a great action flick that used all sorts of new groundbreaking effects, and Neo was a cool hero, even if he was played by the "whoa" dude himself, Keanu Reeves. The Forsaken, by James R. Long, is in the same vein as The Matrix, Johnny Mnemonic, and a score of other VR themed properties. In the same vein, yes, but it has it's own unique qualities as well. Updates are undetermined from the home page.
The art and coloring for the comic is mostly professional grade and pretty damn cool. I say mostly because a few pages aren't colored, as if the artist was trying to keep his update schedule or something. But that's not a big deal. I can forgive a few uncolored pages when the art is this well done. I like the way he puts extra details in to let you get a good feel for the different VR worlds the characters upload themselves into, or whatever you call it. Anyway, great art.
The story so far follows several storylines involving different characters who will no doubt cross paths in the future. I'm interested to see if there is a big villain type in this story or not, and if James will be able to keep the momentum going. So far I like a few of the characters(The vampirate dude and the little wizard kid). I'm also curious to find out who this Raven lady is and what she wants from everyone. Just the fact that I'm interested in what's going on tells me that the writing is doing it's job. No real complaints here.
I liked this comic for it's detailed storyline and the dynamic and brightly colored artwork. I couldn't really find fault in it, as it's a good read and a decent way to spend a few minutes online. Check it out if you're into virtual reality or just into good comics.
I give this comic...
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Okay, I've never reviewed a photo comic before, but here goes. Actus Reus, created by someone going by the mysterious name Sphix(only on the internet, folks)is the story of an 18 year old dude named Ethan and his sudden struggles with some sort of inner demon, or split personality that has began appearing out of nowhere to completely turn his life upside down. Updates come on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
There is no art here, as it is done completely in photo form, but with that said, the pics are nice and clearly shot. I do wonder if the colors used in the comics are a way to give a sense of imposing danger looming on the horizon, or just a way to make it look more interesting because otherwise they would just be plain and rather boring photo's of daily life. I like the added touch of brightly colored blood and sound effects giving it more of a comic feel. It does look a little odd that the only people around are the three main characters. Do they live in a ghost town? The bowling alley scenes could have had a few extras hanging around in the background, but I'll bet it can be tough to get a bunch of people to be in a web comic.
Actus Reus actually reads like a conventional webcomic, which I thought was nice with touches of humor coming from his friend helping to keep things from getting too dark. However, at times it read a little too cartoony to me, and it being a photo comic, needs to feel more realistic. The storyline is moving along at a solid pace though, and it doesn't feel forced or too contrived.
I don't really know what to make of Actus Reus. Part of me thinks it's a bit goofy, like the old movies I used to film with a couple of my friends(killer dressed up in a halloween costume stalks us)who were all bad actors, but we had fun anyway. The other part thinks it's inventive and original and hat's off to Sphix for doing something different. Basically it's not my cup of tea but it might be others. I'll let you be the judge and recommend that you at least read one or two of the comics and see what you think. Let me know too because I would love to see what others think.
I give this comic...
Sunday, June 3, 2007
I would just like to take a minute to comment on the whole donation thing. Personally I would never ask my readers to give me money to support whatever habit I have or to help me buy that new set of pens because I don't like my old ones. Readers come to your comic by choice, and while it would also be their choice to donate, I just don't think it's right to ask unless maybe you have that kind of pull in the webcomic community, and have a sick grandmother who needs a colonic or something. If my comic only pulled in about ten or twenty readers a day, should I be asking them to dish out some cold hard cash? Nah. You would likely end up with a buck and some change and feel like a doofus for even trying. ESPECIALLY if you put up one of those counters with a goal of a hundred dollars or a thousand, etc. Now, I do think it's okay if it benefits the community, such as over at the forums on Comicgen.com, where they ask for donations to put out a webcomic with samples from many different creators. All I'm asking is that you think before you ask for money thinking you're going to get rich off your loyal fanbase. What's your opinion?
Saturday, June 2, 2007
The Gunfighter's Life is best described as a supernatural western created by one Tracy Constantine. The story basically revolves around a sheriff who quickly gets involved in a plot to unleash heck on earth through portals where the undead can travel back to our realm. Things move at a fast pace after that, and who knows where things will end up in the future?
Tracy Constantine's art style is very neat and consistent, with neat character designs that would work well if animated, and the coloring job is detailed and very professional. However, I didn't like the action scenes. They came across very stilted and non-dynamic in the way they played out. If you pick up any superhero or action comic, the fight or gunplay scenes are fluid and explosive, a lot of times almost bursting from the page. Better laid out action scenes will make this comic shine. Also, the panels with backgrounds look so good that the ones without are glaringly empty. Many of the panels lack backgrounds, and when the characters are in the woods or against a mountain backdrop it feels like the artist got lazy. I'm not saying that the artist is lazy, but it can seem that way to the casual reader.
I've always enjoyed westerns, especially any starring Clint Eastwood(John Wayne who?). The Gunfighter's Life does a fine job of portraying the wild west, art and storywise. And the supernatural leanings are played out well, although they are established out of what seems like nowhere. I would have liked to see more of who this Sheriff character is. The comic starts with no real setup, and that's what it needed. Maybe a prologue to better set up this world and it's characters? The Sheriff and Deputy doing their jobs BEFORE all of the zombies and chupacabras? Something to think about.
All in all I did enjoy this comic, but found a few things that could possibly be tweaked in order for readers to get the most of their experience. It's a good setup, and there are nuggets of gold here, but a little more mining by the creator could have Tracy Constantine striking it rich. I liked that little analogy.
I give this comic...
Friday, June 1, 2007
Just to let everyone know, I've revamped my comic, GothyMcgee, and now it's becoming "Tilly and the Difference Makers"! All new settings, all new storylines, all new humor, same characters you've grown to know and love! Check it out if you need a daily dose of insane action and laugh till you drop a stinkload in your pants comedy! Comic plug accomplished!